Watch the June 2016 Best Scene TV Screenplay Winner.
THE MESSIAH PROJECT, by David E. Baugnon
Genre: TV Pilot, Drama, War
Hour long TV Pilot transcript reading. Scene begins as Bruce wakes up in the hospital not to happy about what has just transpired.
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?
The Messiah Project is about an Army scientist who’s working on a rapid healing serum, but doesn’t create it in time to save her own husband. The serum works so well in the field, the Army’s not even sure these guys can be killed, and of course, chaos ensues.
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?
This is character-driven story about the cost of war, as well as an exploration of what would you do if you couldn’t be killed: Work for the center of disease control? Rob a bank? Topple a government? Become a Messianic figure? Some great terrain to explore a multitude of possibilities.
3. How would you describe this script in two words?
I think the title does a good job but “unchained ego” works.
4. What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?
Fargo. (1st season of True Detective close second)
5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
Originally, it was a feature length script completed about 12 years ago. In 2007, i adapted it to TV and continued rewriting it until i felt it was ready to submit. The Messiah Project, was one of two winners of the International Screenwriters Association Fast Track Fellowship program in 2015 and won the 2013 Showtime’s Tony Cox Television Pilot (Hour Long) Competition at the Nantucket Film Festival, the Silver Medal in the Television Drama category for the 2013 Page International Screenwriting Awards.
6. How many stories have you written?
I have 3 completed TV pilots and 7 features with numerous ideas in development.
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of healing (I was pre-med for a year) and technological advances made in that pursuit. I was also drawn to explore this idea in the military arena where so much is lost and sacrificed. Seemed like a perfect fit and many new technologies are discovered in war time.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
The biggest obstacle is knowing when the script is good enough. William Goldman once wrote that screenplays are never finished, but abandoned, meaning a writer is never completely satisfied and can overwork a script. I’ve been guilty of that.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I consider myself a writer/filmmaker but I also love photography, art, hiking and a damn good meal.
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I was very curious to see how far it might advance and if there was anything in particular that’s been keeping this from actually getting made. The feedback was great and encouraging.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
I believe writing should be enjoyable. You know you’re hitting your stride when you love what you’re working on, even at the first draft stages. It’s very easy to let your inner critic ruin the process, so I do whatever i can to remember that.
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson